Big-serving American Andy Roddick hammered an out-of-sorts Novak Djokovic 6-3 6-2 on Friday to advance to the semi-finals of the ATP event at Indian Wells. Roddick broke the third-seeded Serb twice in each set to book his place in the last four against world number one Rafael Nadal, who crushed Argentinean Juan Martin Del Potro 6-2, 6-4 in a later match.
On a hot afternoon in the California desert, seventh seed Roddick swept through the opening set in just over half an hour on the stadium court at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. The second set went with serve until the error-prone Djokovic netted a backhand to be broken in the sixth game and trail 2-4.
World number seven Roddick then held serve before again breaking the Serb in the eighth to reach the semi-finals at Indian Wells for a third time. Djokovic, who beat American Mardy Fish in last year's final, had not dropped a set during the tournament until being taken apart by Roddick in one hour, eight minutes.
"I don't think he had his best day by any means," Roddick told reporters after extending his win-loss record this season to 23-3. "That obviously helps right away. "I mixed up the pace pretty well and the chip was a pretty good neutralising shot for me. I was hitting it pretty firm and I didn't really miss any returns. I thought I played pretty well." Djokovic rued one of the worst performances of his career after slipping to his third defeat by Roddick in five meetings.
"There's not much to say," the Serb said after piling up 30 unforced errors and three double faults. "He played very solid. He didn't do anything special.